Georgia State University Opera Theatre presents Giacomo Puccini’s beloved opera, Madama Butterfly, in three performances at the Rialto Center for the Arts: Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 17 at 3 p.m. Each performance will be preceded by a free, pre-opera lecture by Dr. James Cooney in the lower-level Suntrust Suite of the Rialto Center, one hour prior to performance time. All lecture attendees will also receive a complimentary copy of a Madama Butterfly study guide written expressly for these performances.

Puccini’s tragic opera is set to a libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after David Belasco’s play Madame Butterfly, itself based on John Luther Long’s short story, which in turn was based partly on Pierre Loti’s tale Madame Chrysanthme. In the opera, an innocent Japanese girl sacrifices her family, her religion, and eventually her life for the sake of an American naval officer whom she loves unconditionally. Puccini’s passionate tale chronicles a clash of cultures through music and drama, ultimately resulting in heartbreak and tragedy.

This new production is stage directed with a scene design by Carroll Freeman, the Valerie Adams Distinguished Professor in Opera at the GSU School of Music and Classical Singer magazine’s “2010 Stage Director of the Year,” accompanied by the Georgia State University Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Michael Palmer. Musical direction is provided by Dan Solberg and Rolando Salazar. Costume design is by Jonathan Knipscher of the Metropolitan Opera, and coordinated by Chase Wagner (Jomandi, Theatrical Outfit). The opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Tickets range from $22-$48 (students may receive 1/2 price tickets with ID) and are available in person at the Rialto Center Box Office, by calling 404-413-9TIX or online at www.rialtocenter.org . Free parking is provided for this event at the Equitable Building deck on Fairlie Street.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.